Zambia – Weather
Livingstone, Zambia / Victoria Falls
Despite its tropical location, Zambia’s altitude ensures a pleasant climate for most of the year.
There are three seasons – cool and dry from May to August, hot and dry from September to November, warm and wet from December to April. Only in the Valleys of the Zambezi and Luangwa is there excessive heat, particularly in October and, in the wet season, a high humidity.
In the warm wet season, frequent heavy showers and thunderstorms occur, followed by spells of bright sunshine. Plants grow profusely and rivers and streams fill up almost overnight. During the cool dry season, night frosts may occur in places sheltered from the wind. The countryside dries up gradually and grass fires, fanned by high winds are a feature of this time of the year.
There are dramatic seasonal variations, especially in the Luangwa Valley.
Beween November and March, the amount of rain varies considerably. In the north of the country rainfall is 50 inches or more a year, decreasing southwards to Lusaka where it is about 30 inches annually. Except for very rare falls in August, rainfall is confined to the wet season, which sometimes starts as early as October and finishes as early as March. At the height of the wet season it rains on seven or eight days out of ten.
During June and July temperatures fall to their lowest, although they would rarely go below 50oF. The days are typically warm and sunny. Early morning and evening game drives can be quite chilly so be prepared for this. The temperatures rise throughout the winter months until they onset of the next rains which usually arrive in November.
October is normally the hottest month with maximum temperatures of about 98oF. There is virtually no precipitation during this season and by October virtually all outlying water has dried up.
For forecasts: www.qwikcast.com